Roberta Wilson
 “One of the things we as people need to understand is each other. We have a lot inside of us that we hold back, and we do not talk about racism. It is inside of us and we won’t let it out. We can’t hold it; we have to let it out and talk about it with each other. One of things we need to do is to be open-minded and not hide things. If you have a problem with X, Y and Z: let’s talk about it. I don’t hold things. I’m 82 years old and I’m ready to run.”

Angela Williams
“I think we can combat racism by educating ourselves and people having open discussion forums. Start with our community; just embrace the situation as well as talk about it. Get it out in the open and publicize it, and think outside the box.  And not pretend it does not exist. It does exist and attack the problem. Talk about it, be real with it, and there is room for a change. The way it impacts my life; it taught me to think outside the box and be more open to more cultural things and events. It must be challenged and knocked down whenever its ugly head appears.”

Ellen Barcroft
“Racism has impacted my life by coming to the realization that I am racist, and that has inadvertently had a lousy impact on some people I’ve touched in my life. I’m grateful for all the people that were good to me and helped me understand that better. Three things that I think would be good to change are: speaking to one another, open classes, and accepting one another for who we are – both formally and informally.  Let down our guard and be more open.”

Louverta Hurt
“The more education we have, such as the seminar we had today (Saturday Jan. 16) at this church – a discussion on race and racism – the more we can learn about and respect each other in a very viable way. Then, we will be able to communicate and respect all of the races and not just some. The impact racism has had on me is learning to overcome obstacles, even when I was told I would not be accepted because of the color of my skin. Racism is a sickness and we must heal the souls of those who suffer with this affliction.”

Gary Zaeny
“I’m a board member here at Third Unitarian Church and I can tell you a number of things we do here at the church. We try to reach out into the community and make sure people meet each other and learn about each other. We have a lot of programs; one of the new ones is a community garden. We bought some vacant property next to the church and maybe we will build on it someday. But in the meantime, we thought we’d build something the whole community could share and work in together. Working together is a very good way to meet, learn and trust people.”

Barbara Minor
“Racism has impacted my life. It has made things much more difficult for me financially. It has impacted my ability to gain certain employment. When I was a younger woman there were things we had to do, like we had to be twice a good as white young ladies in order to get certain jobs and positions. And it has impacted me with utility bills, car insurance – with everything you buy almost. It has impacted with the way our young people are sentenced when they are in the criminal justice system. It affects us in every phase of life.”

Rev. Brian Covell
“Racism has affected my life in a significant number of ways; one of them being how we understand race relations in predominantly white communities and predominantly black communities. I’ve had experiences with family and friends that are Caucasians making assumptions about black people that I know; making generalizations in large ways that are no way related to the truth and are hurtful to me. The community I’m from; They are not as informed as they could be. So I find myself at times being caught in the middle between two cultures – that can be hurtful.”

Anita Mcchriston
“If we go and have discussions like we did today and then we go out and walk the talk. And secondly, we need to keep passing it forward to our next generation. The more we talk, the more we can understand each other better. And I hope in the future, we will understand each other a lot better than we do.  Nobody is perfect, but if we meet halfway, I think we have done the job and say ‘well done’.”